What Causes Mesothelioma?
Mesothelioma is a rare cancer that is caused almost exclusively by the exposure to asbestosis, which is a chronic lung disease that scars the tissue of the lung tissue. Asbestosis comes from the prolonged exposure to asbestos, which is a set of naturally occurring silicate materials that is used for things such as electrical insulation, building insulation, used to be quite commonly in ship building, so many times individuals would be exposed to asbestos, and not know it and could eventually potentially affect their family members as well when they would bring home their clothing that had already been exposed to this cancer causing material.
What Mesothelioma does is it affects the thin protective layer that surrounds the lungs, heart and abdominal cavity. Mesothelioma isn’t a cancer that occurs over night but rather over a long period of time. As previously mentioned it is mostly due to having an occupational exposure, such as in individuals that work on shipyards, auto shops, old houses, and can even be or old buildings. These are some of what causes mesothelioma.
How does Malignant Mesothelioma cancer develop over time?
Malignant Mesothelioma cancer develops over time, sometimes decades. Once microscopic asbestos fibers are breathed in, it travels down into the lungs, over decades the fibers begin to cause some changes that result in inflammation and scarring the pleura of the lung. The fibers of the asbestos can also become trapped in the lining of the abdominal cavity as well leading to asbestosis causing pulmonary fibrosis. Now once the fibers have settled and begin to cause the biological damage over time, Mesothelioma begins to develop and it can take a number of years before symptoms become apparent.
How is Mesothelioma diagnosed?
Everyone may come to their diagnosis a little bit differently but the most important factors in accurately diagnosing Mesothelioma are imaging scans and also biopsies. The initial test that most doctors opt to using first is a basic Chest X ray that will usually check for any abnormalities. If the doctor happen to find any abnormal growth then that it when the they may recommend doing a more detailed study, like doing a PET scan, CT scan or even an MRI. Additionally, if Mesothelioma is suspected then this is when a biopsy of the tissue may be collected in order to confirm the presence of Mesothelioma cells.
There are various types of Mesothelioma, the most common one which usually represent most of the cases, is known as pleural Mesothelioma, which is found about 70% of the time. Pleural Mesothelioma is the Mesothelioma that develops in the lining of the lungs.
The second most common type of Mesothelioma is the peritoneal Mesothelioma, and this is the one that develops in the lining of the abdomen.
The last variety of Mesothelioma is the pericardial Mesothelioma and this is the one that develops in the lining of the heart.
What are the symptoms associated with Mesothelioma?
There are varying symptoms depending on what type of Mesothelioma that you have. If you have the most common one, which is the Pleural Mesothelioma, commonly you can have symptoms such as, chest pain, difficulty in swallowing, coughing, fatigue, night sweats and fever and shortness of breath.
If it’s peritoneal Mesothelioma you may have all that’s listed above in addition to abdominal pain, abdominal swelling, nausea and vomiting, constipation and diarrhea.
If it’s pericardial Mesothelioma, then you may have irregular heartbeat, fatigue, and chest pain in addition to some of the other symptoms listed above.
What are the treatments for Mesothelioma?
Treatment options for Mesothelioma can include things like surgery, chemotherapy, and or radiation therapy. Some common chemotherapy drugs enlisted to be used for Mesothelioma include drugs like Alimta and Cisplatin, which has been shown to have promising results in many patients. Many doctors do prefer to combine more than one therapy for better outcome, which is known as a multimodal therapy. The overall prognosis for Mesothelioma is mostly affected by the stage of the cancer. There are treatment options though for early and late stage patients that has been shown to improve prognosis. Beyond the conventional treatments for Mesothelioma, there are some alternative therapies that may provide assistance to Mesothelioma patients that will be discussed in another article. Check back to read about recent advances in this area.
Where can I get Legal Help and Advice for Mesothelioma?
Mesothelioma, although it is a rare cancer, many families are confronted with it and find that at some point or another they may have been exposed without being forewarned. Many asbestos manufacturers and distributors have made a concerted effort that they would hide the dangers of asbestos products, which is why if you or any of your family members have been exposed to asbestos or asbestos containing products it’s imperative that you consider hiring a Mesothelioma lawyer that is well verse with this particular subject.
Many people that have been exposed end up having Mesothelioma often have legal options that they are able to consider, some of which include filing a claim or a lawsuit against a company that they believe is responsible for the exposure that led them to their illness, which a Mesothelioma lawyer will be able to help you with. Many companies because they know that they would have exposed their workers to asbestos at some point in time have set up trust funds to pay out claims to those people that were exposed while working, which is why communicating with an experienced Mesothelioma lawyer does help patients and also their families understand what legal options they have that can help them cover cost and other damages that may happen due to their asbestos exposure leading them to having Mesothelioma.